Thursday, December 27, 2012

As we approach 2013, we are a nation gripped with FEAR.


"He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because of his fear." --Michel de Montaigne
     "Fear that man who fears not God." -- Abd-El-Kader
Helicopter Parenting. We want to bubble-wrap
our kids to prevent any possible injury!
As we rapidly approach 2013, we have become a nation gripped by fear. We are afraid of going over the fiscal cliff, afraid of guns and fearful of what could happen to our children. I have a theory that the more television news you watch, the more fear you possess. Fear is the fodder of journalists. They want to slip a fearful "what if" into every story so that you will stay tuned to find out how to be SAFE, how to avoid a massacre, or being robbed or raped, or scammed.

After the Newtown, CT shooting, parents hundreds of miles away were afraid to let their kids go to school the next day. If you put fear in the mind of your child, you're going to reap fearful results. How many overly protective parents have instilled fear in their children over just about everything. Many parents won't let their kids play with their friends because they're afraid they'll get hurt, or dirty with germs and become sick, or even worse, abducted. In our media-saturated society, we have thousands of parents fearful that their child will be kidnapped, so they keep "tight reins" on their child.
Nancy Gibbs writes in Time Magazine (Nov. 30, 2009),

"The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids. We bought macrobiotic cupcakes and hypoallergenic socks, hired tutors to correct a 5-year-old's "pencil-holding deficiency," hooked up broadband connections in the treehouse but took down the swing set after the second skinned knee. We hovered over every school, playground and practice field — "helicopter parents," teachers christened us, a phenomenon that spread to parents of all ages, races and regions. Stores began marketing stove-knob covers and "Kinderkords" (also known as leashes; they allow "three full feet of freedom for both you and your child")."
These "Helicopter Parents" hover over their child every minute of the day.  You see them at the playground. They are constantly warning their child to be careful, or even worse, afraid to let the child go down a slide because he could get hurt. These are the parents who lobby for the removal of diving boards, the removal of the game, dodge ball  from recess. They want their child enveloped in a cocoon of safety 24-hrs. a day. Usually, these are progressive parents (who happen to vote Democrat and who fancy themselves politically-correct in every way) who believe that we can create a perfect world where nothing bad ever happens and where everyone is safe 24-hours a day. In a sense, they have taken the place of God. They have become their own little gods trying to create a perfect existence. 

Paranoid Parenting
I think we are AFRAID of the wrong things. Sadly, most parents who are FEARFUL of their child being injured while playing, or being abducted, or even killed in a school massacre, are NOT fearful about what their children are or are not being taught in school. They aren't FEARFUL that they child may be  "brainwashed" by his teacher. They aren't FEARFUL of big government's intrusion into their lives. They aren't FEARFUL about the loss of freedom and liberty. They are FEARFUL of man, but have NO FEAR of GOD.

Instead, they have relegated their safety and well-being to the government. They believe that government will protect them from the cradle to the grave. And yet, if that's the case, why are these parents paralyzed with so many fears and passing on these same fears to their children.

I don't know if we will ever have a great generation like those in WWII because we are becoming a nation that is afraid to do anything. Afraid of negative consequences. Afraid that we won't be liked on the world stage. Afraid that we may be criticized, or politically-incorrect. We are becoming a nation of appeasers who want to go along to get-along. Just don't rock the boat and everything will be fine.

As we head into 2013, we need to put everything in perspective and it starts with this: Fear God. Trust in Him.Teach your children to fear the Lord and put their trust in Him. That's the ONLY FEAR worth having. All other fears are needless and produce NOTHING positive in your life. Instead of raising your children to be afraid of walking out the front door every morning, you need encourage them to TRUST GOD and know that He is watching over them. This is done more by example than by preaching. They need to see and know that you are trusting God for your life and your family.
Psalm 27:1 (NLT)
1
The LORD is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Psalm 34:7-9 (NLT)
7 For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! 9 Fear the LORD, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need.






Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Get my wife's e-book FREE TODAY ONLY at Amazon.com

What did you get for Christmas? If you got an e-reader like a Kindle or Nook, or if you received a tablet (big or small--I got a Nexus 7 tablet which is way cool!) and you're looking for some books on the cheap to read, here's the deal of the day!

Today, until midnight tonight, you can download Renee's (my better half) book,A Secret Hope at Amazon.com for FREE.

I'll give you fair warning--it's a historical fiction novel set in 5th century Ireland but it's WELL-WRITTEN and RESEARCHED. It's historically accurate in every way.

Read some of the reviews to see if it's your cup of tea. Personally, I'm not usually into historical novels that go that far back in history, but I found it to be a great action-packed story with some twists and turns to keep me hooked as well as a compelling love interest. IMHO, this book would make for a great movie. But you decide. It's a FREE download today only at Amazon.com


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Some Good News for you this Christmas!

Here's something to think about: If you knew that you could go to heaven in your new resurrection body along with no more pain, no more problems, and on top of everything else, you'd be reunited with all your loved ones, would you want to go? Of course! But what if there was just one problem--What if Jesus wasn't there? If Jesus was absent from heaven, would you still want to go? Would it still be heaven?
                                                      What is the Good News? 

What message did the angel proclaim to the shepherds on a lonely hillside outside of Bethlehem? If you asked the average churchgoer in a Southern Baptist church around where I live, they'd tell you that the Good News means you're saved and going to heaven. Others would say that "forgiveness" is the Gospel. But is that really the good news? Is being forgiven and getting your ticket punched for heaven the essence of the Gospel?

If Jesus wasn't there, would Heaven still be Heaven? 

The point John Piper makes in his book, "God Is the Gospel" is that heaven isn't heaven without Jesus. Yet many Christians would still want to go there, even if Jesus wasn't there. Why? Because they don't really KNOW Jesus. Salvation to many so-called "Christians" means you're not going to hell and you get to go to heaven. But all too many "Christians" know nothing about Jesus, much less knowing Him. He is not their daily bread, or their daily portion. They don't worship Him because they don't love Him. They love church and Christianity, but not Jesus. They love the gifts, but not the Giver Himself.

Here's the Good News that the angel announced to the shepherds on the hillside outside Bethlehem.
Luke 2:8-14 (NLT)
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified,
10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified,
10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
Merry Christmas: God is the Gospel
This Christmas, the Good News is that God is the Gospel. God came down to earth, became a man, lived a sinless life, suffered on a cross, died, was buried and rose again on the third day--Why? So that you and I could be with Him, see Him in all His glory, and KNOW Him. That's what Christmas is all about. It's about the ultimate gift: A relationship with God Himself. He is our everlasting treasure!
Philippians 3:8 (NLT)
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. 

  • Search for Him. Find Him. 
  • Get to know Him. 
  • Christmas is not about church or religion or helping others. 
  • It's not about Santa Claus, or giving or receiving presents. 
It's all about Him. Christmas, the Good News announced by the angel to the shepherds is that our salvation has come, and that salvation is wrapped up in knowing and being with Jesus. He is the Gospel. It's seeing him in all His glory and letting His glory shine forth in our daily lives.

I'm on my quest to get to know Him, to learn about Him, to love Him and worship Him. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I drift back into religious piety and put my quest on hold. But deep in my heart, I know this: I want to know Jesus because He is the Gospel.

Merry Christmas.
  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Here are the questions that the media is NOT asking about the Newtown shooting?


This is PROFOUND....more WISDOM in this paragraph than anything you'll read or hear discussed today regarding Newtown or gun-control....read on....

Michelle Malkin writes today:
"Human conceit throughout human history, of course, seems to pretend that we can prevent the sometimes unpreventable. And when you take that impulse that you need to do something and you turn it into a political football, what you get is more harm than good. This impulse to agitate and legislate and regulate when the history shows and the reality of this particular situation shows that all of the gun control legislation in the world wouldn't have stopped this mad man. Connecticut already has an Assault Weapons Ban. And we need politicians for once, to just stop, shut up and think before they act recklessly again. Please?" 

Some of my thoughts and questions which you won't hear posed on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, USA Today, or NPR who are so biased on this subject that if you are opposed to new gun legislation, you must be a neanderthal, or a right-wing extremist who cares more about guns than about our children. Here's what I want to know:
Sen. Chuck Schumer
James Holmes, Aurora, CO.

  • How are the gun-free school zones working? Does that mean that someone like Adam Lanza would not perpetrate his massacre if he saw a sign informing him that this was a "gun-free zone?" We have drug-free zones at schools? How's that working out? No more drug problem, right?
  • The usual suspects--the gun-control advocates who are now pushing the ban on all assault weapons (btw, what is an assault weapon? Every weapon is an assault weapon.) In the interest of FULL DISCLOSURE, someone needs to ask people like Sen. Chuck Schumer who has recently put forth new gun-control legislation why he feels it necessary to carry a concealed weapon? Why does Sen. Schumer feel the need for armed guards to protect him? Why doesn't he just rely on 911 like he wants the rest of us to do? Why is it OK for him to carry a weapon and not you or me?
  • Likewise, Pres. Obama who has now entered this debate and is now pushing for gun-control legislation, why doesn't he give up his armed secret service guards? If he is in danger, just call 911 like the rest of us? Even as President of the U.S., he should set the example. 
  • Why has the media jumped on the gun-control bandwagon while totally ignoring the real issue of mental illness which is responsible for most of our recent shootings, including Columbine, Gabby Gifford's Tucson shooting by crazed Jared Loughner, the Virginia Tech shooting, and the Aurora, Colorado shooting--all were done by individuals who had a history of mental illness. This is the most obvious place to start as far as preventing future tragedies, but it's also politically-correct. 
  • We have many dangerous people wandering our streets and neighborhoods who need to be permanently hospitalized in mental hospitals. But the Democrats did away with all the mental hospitals in the early 1980s, thank-you!! We have even given the mentally-ill their own "bill of rights" which means they can shoot everyone in an auditorium and still be given a free pass of impunity because they are mentally-ill and don't know any better. Duh?
This sign should've been displayed at the Aurora Cinemark
Theater because they proudly announced after the massacre
that their theater complex was a gun-free zone. 
Why do we refuse to look at countries like Israel where teachers can carry guns, and where there are no reported school shootings? 

Why do we refuse to acknowledge that there are basically evil people who will do evil things whether you have laws on the books or not? No laws would have stopped Adam Lanza from committing the horrific crime last Friday. No gun-free zone would've stopped him. But, if one of the teachers had been carrying a concealed gun, or had one locked in her desk drawer, she could've stopped him, and saved the lives of many of those children.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My prayer for those affected by the Newtown, CT. shooting.


There's not much that can be said after the horrific tragedy yesterday in Newtown, CT where 26 where killed including 20 children. 

Now there will be calls for action. The President today is saying that action needs to be taken to prevent more shootings. That's code for gun-control. But what action can be taken to prevent further tragedies like Newtown? We already have gun-free zones and metal detectors at the entrance to schools. We already have cities with stringent gun laws like Washington D.C. and Chicago, which incidentally have the highest rates of murders, even with gun laws. We can pass more laws which is exactly what politicians love to do, but all the laws in the world would not have prevented yesterday's tragedy, or the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, or the Ft. Hood massacre. 

Here's what the problem is, and tell me if you can legislate against this problem. 

There are evil people. There are people who are bent and broken and prone to violence. But there is also evil inside each of our hearts. Jesus said in Mark 7:20-23 (NLT) 
20 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you.
21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,
22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
So maybe it's time for politicians (Democrat and Republican) and our President as well as all of us to search our hearts and ask God to remove the evil that's within each one of us. We need to remove the log from our own eyes before we try to remove a speck from someone else's eye. We need to ask God to cleanse us (each one of us) individually. We need to forgive even as we have been forgiven and ask for help to love our enemies and to do good to them, not repaying evil for evil but serving them in love. Then we need to pray for our nation and ask God's forgiveness for how we've fallen as a nation, and we are now reaping what we've sowed as a rebellious, hard-hearted people. 

Here's my prayer for everyone affected by the shooting yesterday at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT.:

Lord, 
I thank-you that you are the God of Mercy and Grace. You hear the cries and the pain of those who have lost loved ones. 
Lord, your word says that you are close to the brokenhearted, and you rescue those whose spirits are crushed. Lord, bring your love and hope to those who have lost children and loved ones at the Sandy Hook School. 
Lord, bring healing to the brokenhearted, and bring healing to the pain and hurt and loss that so many have suffered. Turn their eyes to You, that they might look to You. Don't let their hearts become hardened but wrap your arms of love around each parent, each person who has lost a loved one in this senseless tragedy.
Lord, walk with them through the valley of the shadow of death at this time.
Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love You and obey your commands.
But Lord, as a people, we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against You, and scorned your commands and laws.
We have refused to listen to your servants who have spoken on your authority to our Presidents and politicians. 
Lord, you are righteous, but as you see, we are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including our leaders, our religious shepherds, our media, and all the people here in America. We have sinned against You, and You alone.
We trust in our man-made laws. We trust in our law enforcement. We trust in our regulations. We trust in our police and fire departments. We trust in our politicians. But, we do not trust in You. We have refused to place our trust in You. Instead, we have looked to others and other places for safety and security.
Lord, forgive us for not trusting You, for not listening to You and obeying You. Forgive us for mocking your servants and your spiritual leaders. Forgive us for not reading and obeying Your Words in the Bible. 
Lord, look down from heaven and see our despair. I make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of Your mercy.
O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! Heal our brokenness. Heal our rebellious ways. Turn our hearts back to You, O Lord.
Once again, be glorified in our nation. Once again, bring us to the place where we can honestly say, "In God, we trust." 
In the name of the Messiah, the Chosen One, Yeshua, Lord Jesus,
Amen.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A lone prophet speaks to Congress about the Columbine massacre


On the morning of Tuesday, April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered a total of 12 students along with one teacher.They also injured 21 students and then the pair committed suicide.The Columbine massacre is the fourth deadliest mass murder on a school campus in the U.S. (see attached video with author Dave Cullen discussing Columbine and the profiles of killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold).


The first victim was Rachel Scott, 17, who was walking toward the entrance to the kill when she was hit with bullets to the head and torso. 

Darrell Scott, father of first Columbine victim
Rachel's father, Darrell Scott, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee.  What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.  They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well.  It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert!

In my last post, I asked, 'Where are the prophets for this generation?" On this day, May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, was a prophet, a voice crying out in the wilderness. Here is a portion of his powerful and penetrating address to the Congressional subcommittee: 
"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women.  We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. "The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.
"Much of the blame lies here in this room..."  
President Clinton used the Columbine massacre
to push for Gun-control legislation.
"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.  I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter.  I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent. 
"I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room.  Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.  "I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.  This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:
  • Your laws ignore our deepest needs, Your words are empty air. 
  • You've stripped away our heritage, You've outlawed simple prayer.
  • Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die.
  • You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question "Why?"
  • You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed.
  • And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need!
"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. 
Politicians use the NRA as a scapegoat 
What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs - politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA.They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. 
Dylan Klebold & Eric Harris
We do not need more restrictive laws."Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre.  The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. 
There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage.We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!
"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes-He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. 
Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God given right to communicate with Him.  To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge.  Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!  My daughter's death will not be in vain!  The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"
In my concluding post on Saturday, I'll offer up my own prayer to the Lord regarding our moral meltdown, with an adapted prayer taken from the book of Daniel. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

We're having a Moral Meltdown...Send in the cavalry!

If I said that we here in America were having a moral meltdown, I doubt that few of you would take me to task on that. I think the central message coming out of the election is that we are no longer the America that our Founders envisioned.

Young people are taught in public schools, at major universities, on television and in movies, that every life choice is acceptable and every tenet is open to interpretation. In politics, some proclaim that it's right to oppose the successful and envy the rich to the point where they must be denigrated and penalized for their success with higher taxes. No one has to be personally responsible for his or her actions. What? You don't have any education; you don't know anything? You have ZERO motivation and no life plan? No problem. The government will take care of you.  
My definition of moral meltdown:  
"It's a slow, creeping, incessant slide toward mediocrity by way of moral relativism where nothing objective is nailed down, where there is no everlasting, unchanging standard (The Ten Commandments). The meltdown is seen in historical revisionism (re-writing the history to fit our own narrative and political agenda), as well as the politically-correct fear of offending anyone, anywhere, at any time. 
In the midst of all this, where are the prophets of our generation? Where is the lone prophet crying out in the wilderness, going against the grain, facing ridicule and rejection for their message? There aren't many prophets on the national scene who are warning us and calling us to repent. As I write this, two names come to mind: 
Glenn Beck
  • Glenn Beck. Whenever I listen to him, he is like an Old Testament prophet warning us and calling us to prepare for coming judgment. He's ridiculed, mocked by the media, considered a fool by many. He cries on camera and he's constantly asking us to make changes to the way we are living. If you don't like Glenn Beck, it may be because of his message. That's ok cause they didn't like Jeremiah or John the Baptist.
  • Franklin Graham. Here's a guy who is totally unlike his father, Billy Graham (a man for who I profound respect, and the one who brought me face-to-face with Jesus at his L.A.Coliseum Crusade). Franklin is condemned by the media and even by some evangelical leaders who want to keep a safe distance from Franklin lest they lose the respect of CNN or the NY Times or USA Today. Franklin gets into hot water for speaking the truth constantly. He tells us that Islam is a religion of hatred that wants to either convert us or kill us. That's not politically-correct, but then neither is Franklin. He speaks before he thinks, but that's alright because what he says is usually the unfiltered, unvarnished truth which no one else is saying, or they're too afraid to say, or too politically-correct! Thank the Lord for men like Franklin Graham. So often he is a lone voice crying in the wilderness.
Franklin Graham
Are there any other prophets? Who would you consider to be a prophet to our generation in this hour? Let me and everyone else know. Do you believe that we are living in the midst of a "moral meltdown"? 

In my next post (on Tuesday), some solemn words from another prophet to our generation who addressed Congress with some really strong words...stay tuned. On Friday, I will end this series with a prayer based on Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9. 



Sunday, December 2, 2012

What is it that satisfies you? As Mick Jagger says, "I can't get no satisfaction."


What is it that satisfies you? 

It could be food--something like a Maine lobster, or maybe receiving recognition for all your hard work. It could be the purchase of a new car, or getting that 60-inch flat screen TV that you've been wanting.

The other night we saw the new James Bond film, "Skyfall." That was very satisfying. I left the theater thinking that this was the best James Bond film ever made. But here's the problem: As satisfied as I may be over receiving a big-screen TV or purchasing a new car or seeing the latest and greatest James Bond film, it doesn't last. After awhile, it leaves me empty and wanting something else to give me instant gratification or fulfillment. We're always looking for the next big thing--be it a video game, movie, car, sports event, party, sexual conquest, etc. We're never satisfied. I mean, do you really think Tom Brady is satisfied with his 3 Superbowl rings? Don't you think he'd like to add a 4th to his collection? As Mick Jagger says, "I can't get no satisfaction."

Pascal's God-shaped vacuum
Pascal's "God-shaped vacuum"

Maybe that's why Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher observed that "there is a god-shaped vacuum in the heart of man that can only be filled by God, made known through his son, Jesus Christ."

One of the names for Jesus is "Bread of Life." He declared in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

For most of the world, bread is a big deal. In Europe and elsewhere, bread is a main course at many meals. Jesus called himself the bread of life because he knew that he is the ONLY one who can satisfy our spiritual hunger and our quest for identify and worth. 

In John 6 where Jesus reveals himself as the "bread of life", Passover is near, and he is conveying the truth that he is the Passover lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It's with his shed blood on the cross that we have been restored to a relationship with God the Father. 

Earlier in John 6, we see Jesus feeding five thousand with just two loaves of bread and five fish. Jesus is not disabled by circumstances-they pose no obstacle to him. No matter how insignificant a resource may seem, he can multiply it to fully meet our needs. As the Bread of Life, He is the source and supply  of our daily needs. Whatever we bring to him, He can multiply it so that it meets our present need.  

Bread must be consumed to be beneficial:

Bread is beneficial only if it is eaten, consumed. We eat or partake of Jesus as the Bread of Life when we read His Words in the Bible--not just the words printed in red, but ALL the Bible. The entire Bible is His book. After his resurrection, Jesus appears to two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, and he (Jesus) took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:47). All the scripture is about Him. From Genesis to Revelation, it's all about Jesus.


Christ said it thus, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). In other words, if you don't eat Jesus' words (read the Bible and putting it into practice daily), there will be no satisfaction, no nourishment, no growth in your life. You will continue to look for the next big thing, the next thrill, the next party, the next big smash film, or new car. But whatever it is, it won't satisfy for very long.

Our prayer to God this day can be:

Dear Lord,

Thank-you for being to me the Bread of Life. Only You Lord can satisfy and nourish and meet my every need. You sustain me and supply all that I have need of. 

Forgive me for looking to other people or things to satisfy my life when only You can fill that god-shaped vacuum in my life. 

Lord, I want to feed on your Word daily. Teach me and shape my life according to Your Word. Give me a hunger for your Word even as I hunger for my favorite food or desert. Even as you feed me and nourish me, help me to bring nourishment to others and point them towards You and your Kingdom. 

In Jesus' name, who is the Bread of Life, Amen.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Get ready....say good-bye to the Internet as we now know it.


For the record, my love affair with computers and the Internet dates back to 1986 when a friend gave me an IBM XT PC with massive 20-meg. hard-drive (yes, 20-meg) and a 5.25 inch floppy drive. It sat in my office for six months because I didn't have a clue how to use it or what to do with it. At the time, I thought it would take me forever to fill-up the 20-meg hard-drive 

One day my friend, Mark (Thank-you Mark Ziminsky for being so persistent) pops in my office, sees the computer sitting there gathering dust and says, "Dale, if you aren't going to use that thing, I'll take it back." I told Mark I didn't know how to use it, and he proceeded to show me and teach me DOS (the basic disc operation system that underlies Windows, even today). With Mark's help, I became quite proficient in the use of DOS, so much so that when Windows 1.0 appeared on the scene, I was resistant to adopting it because I was doing just fine with DOS, thank-you very much!

Finally, with the arrival of Windows 3.0 in 1990, I slowly transitioned to Windows. A year earlier, I had signed on to Compuserve, the first online service to connect to the web. There wasn't much to connect to other than forums, bulletin boards, etc. There were no fancy websites with streaming music or videos in 1989.

I also remember the introduction of Realplayer in 1995, when I tuned into its initial test broadcast from Seattle. The quality was really bad, but then again, we were dealing with dial-up and really slow speeds at the time. Honestly, I didn't think Realplayer as an idea would last, but now looking back, it was the forerunner of our Pandora,  Spotify, Netflix and Hulu. 

So with that background info, I want to remind you (not that you need reminding) that the Internet has grown and prospered without the help or funding or regulation of governments. The Internet is self-regulating which means that no one has to ask for permission to launch a website, and no government can tell network operators how to do their jobs. The Internet (the world-wide web) is a permissionless society. 

But as I stated in an earlier post last May, the United Nations organization, ITU, wants to take over the Internet. In their 200-page proposal, they want to charge you for sending emails overseas (sort of a tax, so they can make some money off of you). Also, if any internet traffic is routed through countries like Russia, Iran, China, etc., they want the ability to eavesdrop or block internet access. This is the same UN that can't even control nuclear weapons, yet they want to control the Internet. (See article by L. Gordon Crovitz "The U.N.'s Internet Sneak Attack" in the Wall Street Journal for more background info).

The U.N. wants control over the Internet so they can make money off of everyone using it as well as control what information is transmitted. They want to tax firms like Google and Facebook which eventually would mean that you, the user would also be taxed or have to start paying Google or Facebook a user fee. 

My fear (and it is a well-founded one) is that the Obama administration will once again lead from behind and capitulate, giving in to the U.N. and allowing it to control the Internet. Why? Because in the name of multiculturalism, Obama believes that the U.S.'s values of freedom, democracy, and freedom of speech, etc. are no better than any other countries' values, including North Korea, Iran, or Russia. 

Far too many liberals, including Obama himself, believe that government should be able to censor and sanction speech in order to keep people "in line." This is the same political correctness that prevails on most of our university campuses today (just ask someone like Ann Coulter who is banned from a number of university campuses). 

I sadly predict that we are about to see the end of the Internet as we know it. This news will probably be greeted with cheers and cause for celebration by most liberals and leftist professors as well as the Hollywood crowd. 




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hillary's Conflict Resolution 101 in the Middle East Is a Waste of Time

This morning as I was at the gym exercising, I'm thinking about the ceasefire agreement that was "hammered" out by Hillary Clinton, Egypt, Hamas & Israel. Does this really mean that we're going to see peace in the Middle East? Don't bet on it. Any peace agreement brokered by Hillary and Mohammed Morsi of Egypt isn't worth the paper it's written on. 

Personally, I would've thought the great arbiter of peace and Nobel prize winner, Barack Obama, would put some skin in the game, show up and get both sides to stop this warfare. But instead, he sends a woman out to do a man's job--Hillary Clinton. 

For Hillary, this is a win-win, because this is nothing more than a "dog and pony show" designed to give the illusion of having secured a "peaceful" settlement to this conflict. Even if it's artificial, fragile and lasts for only a few days, she gets a pass on the whole Benghazi-gate thing where Congress has a series of questions to ask her, for which she hasn't given any straight answers. 

7 yrs ago, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, hoping for Peace
For the record, seven years ago, in full view of the world, Israel pulled out of Gaza, dismantling every settlement and withdrawing every soldier. I was there in 2005 shortly after Israel's handover of the Gaza Strip and friends of mine in Israel said it was a waste of time--that it would not bring peace, and they were right. 

What did occur was that Hamas built up strength in the Gaza strip and they have been building up an arsenal of missiles which they get from Iran. This cease-fire does nothing but give them more time to prepare for another assault on Israel. 
Bus-bombing in Tel Aviv
Even today, as I arrived home from the gym and checked the news, here's the latest headline in USA Today:  
11:23AM EST November 24. 2012 - TEL AVIV — A bus bombing in this seaside city Wednesday appears to be strengthening the Israeli public's support for a ground offensive in Gaza.
A cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas went into effect later Wednesday, but many Israelis say they don't believe it will provide a long-term solution to the rain of rockets into their territory or to renewed acts of terrorism.
"We know that the situation is bad," said Tel Aviv resident Daniel Ramzi, 25, referring to the 8-day-old escalation of hostilities with Gaza. "There's no end. After what happened today, I think that most Israelis think now that we should go in," he said, referring to a possible ground offensive in Gaza.
A Peace Treaty Only Brings Peace When One Side Is Defeated in War
This latest cease-fire agreement with Hamas was a mistake. Israel needs to go in with a ground offensive and wipe Hamas out-completely. They need to defeat Hamas and re-take the Gaza Strip. 
Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepting the Japanese
surrender in Tokyo Bay, Sept. 2, 1945.
Here's a bit of wisdom that I learned from listening to Rush Limbaugh years ago--you can't have peace until your enemy is defeated. You can't sign a peace agreement that is worth anything until one side has been defeated, surrenders and comes to the table willing to sign a meaningful treaty.

Where Would We Be Today If We Had Signed a Peace Agreement with Germany without Defeating Them?
Where would we be today if we had signed a peace agreement with the Germans without defeating them? We'd probably be living under the Nazi Swastika flag. Or, what would life be like for us if we had signed a peace treaty with Japan without having defeated them? Do you really think that Japan would have stopped all its aggression? The ONLY way we came out of WWII with any peace and hope for the future was because Japan and Germany had both been defeated! 
Every peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is a waste of time until the Palestinians are totally defeated, and give up their thirst to drive Israel into the Mediterranean Sea. Even now, Hamas still believes that Israel shouldn't exist and they are planning their next offensive on Israel.
The next time, and it will arrive in a few days or weeks, Israel needs to go in on a ground offensive and completely destroy Hamas and it's leaders, as well as all their weapons, drive the Palestinians out of Gaza Strip, retaking control of this territory and buffer between Israel and Egypt. Then, Israel might be able to sign a peace agreement with Hamas which would really have some meaning and lasting value.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When we are truly thankful, we admit our need for His help & strength

In the classic western movie Shenandoah, Jimmy Stewart stars as Charlie Anderson, a Virginian farmer trying to keep his family out of the Civil War.
With one empty place set for his dead wife and his children gathered around the supper table, Charlie begins a litany they obviously have heard before: "Now your mother wanted all of you raised as good Christians, and I might not be able to do that thorny job as well as she could, but I can do a little something about your manners."
He gestures that they all should bow their heads and continues: "Lord, we cleared this land, we plowed it, sowed it, and harvested it. We cooked the harvest. We wouldn't be here, we wouldn't be eatin', if we hadn't done it all ourselves. We worked dog-boned hard for every crumb and morsel, but we th
Through the course of the movie, we see one tragedy after another strike the Anderson clan: the youngest son is mistaken for a soldier and captured, another son and his wife are murdered by marauders, and a third son is shot by an over-zealous sentry. When we next see Mr. Anderson at the supper table, there are four more empty places as he begins his ritual prayer. But this time we hear his voice quiver and break as the awful realization comes upon him that he is not in control, that he is not the master of his own destiny. His voice trails off as he finishes the words "if we hadn't done it all ourselves."
He stops, gets up, and walks away, a proud man, broken and stripped of his pride, knowing that he needs to turn to the Lord, but not yet ready to fall on his knees and ask for God's help.
This Thanksgiving is a time for us to not only offer up thanks to God for all his many blessings, but to also ask for His help and strength. When we are truly thankful, we are also admitting our dependence on the One who is the source of our strength, blessings, health, and life itself. Without Him, we would not be taking another breath.

I pray that you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving. 
1 Chronicles 16:7-15  7 On that day David gave...this song of thanksgiving to the LORD: 8 Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. 9 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. 10 Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the LORD. 11 Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him. 12 Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given, 13 you children of his servant Israel, you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones. 14 He is the LORD our God. His justice is seen throughout the land. 15 Remember his covenant forever— the commitment he made to a thousand generations.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

How'd we get in this mess of gender confusion, animal rights & unisex bathrooms?


On many college campuses  around the country and in some corporations, there are unisex bathrooms. The Fox TV series, Ally McBeal, introduced the American viewing audience to gender neutral bathrooms.

How did we get here? How did we get to the place where there is a concerted effort to blur the lines between the sexes, where women are competing with men to be Marines, firemen, and soon, NFL quarterbacks and Navy Seals?

How'd we get to this place?  

How did we get to the place where there is not only an attempt to blur the gender lines so that we no longer have male and female, but trans-gender individuals who are demanding their acceptance in the workplace and in whatever bathroom they choose to use?

How did we get to the place where there is an effort to blur the lines of species so that we as humans are now at the mercy of animals or rodents. In the eyes of some (PETA, animal-rights activists), we as human beings have no more right to existence than a sea turtle, spotted owl, the American Burying Beetle, or the California Tiger Salamander? (This is why I choose not to watch Animal Planet which is nothing more than a subtle propaganda push for the animal rights’ movement.) 

The animal-rights whackos believe that there is nothing special about the human species and that we have no more right to existence than a chicken. Theodor W. Adorno (German philosopher) writes: 
 “Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.” 
This should be an affront to any rational human being to trivialize and compare the Holocaust where more than six million Jews were exterminated to the killing of animals for food.

The key to understanding all of this is found in the Garden in Genesis 1.

It all goes back to the Garden. On the 6th day of creation, in Genesis 1:25 (ESV)
25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 
Notice that it clearly says that God made all the creatures of the earth according to their OWN kind. In other words, they did NOT transition from one form into another, they were created distinctly according to their own kind, so that a dog has always been a dog, a lizard has always been a lizard, a whale has always been a whale, an owl has always been an owl, etc.

Now we come Genesis 1:26 which is the key to understanding all that matters regarding species, dominance, equality, etc.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 
We are told that God made man in His own image. We are made in the image and likeness of God. God then went on to say that man would have dominion (authority, dominance, rights) over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the livestock and over every creeping thing on the earth. You will never see or hear this on the Animal Planet channel because they don’t want you to know that you are special, having been created in the image of God.

Here's what happens when we turn our backs on God and no longer believe in Genesis 1-2:

When we turn our backs on God and no longer believe in the Genesis account of creation, we begin to lose sight of our uniqueness, created in God’s image, created to know God and to reflect his glory in our lives. 
When we lose sight of our God-given purpose, we fall prey to all the false philosophies in the marketplace of ideas including: 
  • Those animal rights’ activists who would have us believe that we are nothing special.
  • We fall prey to those who would tell us that there is NO difference between the sexes, that everything should be gender neutral, that we can choose to be male, female, or whatever we want to be. 
  • Female bodybuilder
  • We succumb to arguments of equality that would pit women against men, even to the point of wanting to break into every area of male dominance, including NFL football or the Navy Seals.
My Final Thoughts on Animal Rights:

My final thoughts for this post are that the animal-rights movement is an outgrowth of rebellion against God and what we read in Genesis 1-2. Our confusion over gender-roles and attempts to blur the lines is one more example of our brokenness and alienation from God. When we lose sight of our significance as being loved and accepted by God just the way we are, we fall prey to other philosophies and lifestyles in an attempt to gain the love and attention we so desperately seek.

You and I were created to know God and have a relationship with Him. He created us in His image to be the dominant creature here on earth, not to be in a subordinate role or subservient to all the other creatures on the planet. My two cute dogs, Ellie & Charlie, can’t have a relationship with God and they were not created in the image of God. They are beautiful creatures, deserving of my love and tender care, but I am still their owner and master. 

According to God, my dogs and no other animals will ever have a right to sue me or anyone else—unless that right is conferred upon them by human beings—and if that happens, then I rest my case. By the mere fact that we HAVE the ability to CONFER  a right to an animal reveals who has the dominance and the God-given authority. It is man, and man alone, who is created in God’s image.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Do Animals Have Rights? Can Your Dog or Cat Sue You?

Recently, I saw a disturbing commercial airing on Hulu with kids promoting Animal Rights. I love animals as much as the next guy. In fact, as I write this, one of my two rescued dogs, Ellie (a Jack Russell-Rat Terrier mix) is resting on my lap. My two dogs are completely spoiled, and they are showered with love and affection every day. But having said that, I am opposed to Animal Rights, because it is antithetical to the Biblical account in Genesis. More on that in my next post.

Here's a sample animal rights' video targeting children and probably being shown in our public schools:

Flawed logic of the Animal Rights' movement
Animal Rights activists believe that you are no more special than a rat, or a cat, or a dog, or a chicken. They don't believe in a dominant species, and their argument is the same that was used for racism, one which I heard in my college Black History class years ago. It goes like this: If you believe as the Bible says that man is the head of the woman, and that the woman descended from the man, then you believe that the woman is inferior to the man; consequently, you must also believe that one race is superior and others are inferior,  therefore you are a racist because you believe in the superiority of the white race. Now, they've taken that one step further: You must also believe that one species is dominant over another and that man should be the dominant species in the world. There is no dominant species, and man is no better than any other species. 

That's how the reasoning goes, and logically, it's flawed from the start. First off, just because I believe that man is the head of the woman, and that according to Genesis the woman descended from man, that is no way means that she is inferior. She is created in the image of God and has a different role but it is not one that where she is any less of an equal to the man. The new definition of equality which has gained a foothold in our society thanks to feminism says that to be "equal", you have to be the same and be able to do the same things. In other words, a woman is not equal to a man until she can sign-up for the Navy Seals, or quarterback an NFL team. Once again, flawed logic. Equality means that we are equal in the eyes of God but we don't necessarily have the same function. My children do not make the house payment or pay the property taxes, yet they are equal in the eyes of God. Again, I'll discuss this a bit more in my next post.

Animal Rights activists have their own law schools, their own law review, etc. Does that mean that my two dogs can now sue me? Does it mean that my dogs can take me to court if they don't get their daily treats or their daily walk? Can my dogs divorce me as their master? What's up with that?

Here's what I believe about animal rights. Animals ONLY have rights that we as human beings confer on them. My dogs can't confer rights on anything, except by peeing and marking their territory. Other than that, they don't seem to want to confer any right to our cat, Vive, so she can sleep in our bed at night. What's up with that?  Maybe Vive needs a cat lawyer?

When I hear people talking about animal rights, I realize how far we have fallen as a nation and a people. We have too much time on our hands to concern ourselves with such trivial matters when there are people in places like North Korea who are being starved and tortured. These same people have NO concern whatsoever over the thousands of unborn babies that are killed and aborted every year. They won't lose any sleep over one single unborn child that is aborted; however, they will expend incredible amounts of energy and resources to save some chickens or rats or spotted owls or abused pigs. Am I condoning the abuse of animals--NO. But I also believe that as a society we have misplaced priorities. Because we've turned our back on God, we no longer value those who are created in the image of God, other human beings. More on that in my next post.

If you want to become an Animal Rights' Lawyer, here's a listing of resources where you can begin your education:
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                                                   UCLA Animal Law Program